Tag: Tony Blair

ACF Podcast: British Decadence for Christmas


It’s not the greatest gift, but it’s a good discussion–my friend Ben Sixsmith joins me for a discussion of his first volume of short stories, Noughties: Eleven Echoes of a Dismal Decade. We talk about the strange times at the beginning of the 21st century when it seemed like there would be a cultural rebirth in England. This proved not only short-lived but a deception–a self-deception for the English.

The most obvious sign is Tony Blair, who won three consecutive elections. He seemed first to resurrect Labour after Thatcher; and then to make Labour the only acceptable political party for cool, modern, intelligent Britons looking forward to a bright, global future. Yet, Blair has ended up loathed almost universally, Labour has collapsed, Brexit has happened, Britain’s Middle Eastern war-making alongside America was a catastrophe, and it’s harder and harder to say what the future might be, much less who can lead and who is inclined to follow in which direction.

Orgy of Guilt


Mohamed Bailor Jalloh (Photo credit: Facebook)

The Islamic State, you have to acknowledge, is on quite a roll. Over the July 4th weekend, the FBI arrested a northern Virginia neighbor of mine, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh. He was apparently plotting a Fort Hood style attack and told an FBI informant: “I just want to live a good Muslim life and die as a Shaheed [martyr].”

Corbyn, Trump, and a New Kind of Politics


_84586116_trumpcompThe Establishment is undone. The party’s “milquetoast defence of its economic record, its lack of direction … its bland, sputtering lack of passion” opened the door, and an utterly non-traditional politician walked through: outspoken, controversial, occasionally bizarre, willing to rip up long-held assumptions. Radical change has come – with 60 percent of the vote.

“I voted for a new kind of politics,” proclaimed Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters today as they made him leader of the British Labour Party. Corbyn’s appeal is anti-establishment, and leadership’s desperate pleas have gone completely unheeded. After the self-admitted folly of a few put him on the ballot, nearly every Labour MP opposed him. A drove of shadow cabinet members resigned today and say they will not serve under Corbyn. Tony Blair – the only Labour leader since the 1970s to actually win elections – urgently opposed him:

It’s a revolution but within a hermetically sealed bubble – not the Westminster one they despise, but one just as remote from actual reality … They’re making all those “in authority” feel their anger and their power. There is a sense of real change because of course the impact on politics is indeed real …